Stronger men might have broken down and cried if what happened to Liam Hemsworth had happened to them.
True, not too many guys appear stronger than the towering, six-foot-three, remarkably well-built Australian actor. Regardless, Hemsworth seems to have weathered serious career disappointments with no apparent trauma — maybe because things worked out marvellously for him in the end.
It all began about three years ago when the now 22-year-old Hemsworth, who was doing okay in Aussie TV, caught the eye of Sylvester Stallone.
"I was originally supposed to be in the first Expendables," the soft-spoken actor explains during an interview in Los Angeles. "But it never ended up happening. The script got rewritten. Then Stallone brought me back for the second one."
"Bang, bang" someone shouts feebly off-camera as Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel, hoisted on harnesses and armed with prop guns, are lowered upside down through a doorway while filming an action scene for director Len Wiseman's remake of Total Recall.
Despite the sci-fi film's sobering themes — memory, identity, freedom — and the inherent discomfort of being strung upside down for at least 20 takes on the day we visited the Toronto set last September, Farrell and Biel erupt in giggle fits every time Wiseman yells, "Cut!"
Farrell takes on the role of Douglas Quaid, first made famous by Austrian beefcake Arnold Schwarzenegger in Paul Verhoeven's 1990 version of Philip K. Dick's story, and offers an everyman approach to the blue-collar character. Quaid is, after all, a factory worker who visits Rekall for a virtual vacation only to discover he’s not who he thought he was after the procedure goes haywire. Meanwhile, Biel solidifies her reputation as the go-to actress for tough-lady roles playing freedom fighter Melina, who claims to have had a relationship with Quaid in a reality he can no longer remember.
We sat down with Farrell and Biel between takes to talk about their characters, the film's meaning, and just what's so funny about hanging upside down.
This month's hugely-anticipated The Dark Knight Rises is the eighth big-screen Batman pic and the third directed by Christopher Nolan after Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. No other superhero franchise has been successfully rebooted twice, survived major cast changes and altered its tone from campy to serious, back to campy and then back to stone-cold serious.
With TDKR hitting theatres on July 20 and with Comic-Con kicking off July 12, we're taking a look at the evolution of the Bat on film, from the men who've donned the cowl — West to Keaton to Clooney — to series directors Burton and Schumacher, and finally a look at the rise of the 21st-century Batman, Christian Bale.
Take a look at our round-up of the Big-screen Batmans after the jump!
At first, it seemed unreal — Woody Allen leaving his beloved Manhattan to make movies in Europe.
But by 2005 a set of circumstances — his declining box-office earnings, Hollywood's shift to bigger-budget pics, the rising cost of shooting in New York and financial backing from European film companies — lured Allen across the pond. Seven of his last eight films have been shot in Europe, and Allen employs the same skilled eye that captured the glory of New York to bring us the iconic beauty of some of the world’s greatest cities, including Rome in To Rome With Love hitting theatres on July 6th.
For Blake Lively, growing up in Southern California was a total dream. For Ophelia, the woman she plays in Oliver Stone's new thriller Savages, the sun-drenched dream turns into a blood-soaked nightmare.
"There's sex, drugs and violence, everything you'd expect in one of Oliver's movies," Lively explains during a Beverly Hills interview. "She's got two pot-growing boyfriends, and gets kidnapped by a Mexican cartel that's trying to move in on their business."
The adaptation of Don Winslow's novel sees Lively's Ophelia hooking up with brainy botanist Ben (Aaron Johnson, star of Kick-Ass and Nowhere Boy) and his ex-Navy SEAL best bud Chon (Vancouverite Taylor Kitsch) after Ben's potent new strain of marijuana makes the boys beach-bum moguls.
No disrespect to Kirsten Dunst, but Emma Stone thinks her Spider-Man girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, is better than Dunst's Mary Jane Watson — as a dramatic character, that is.
"It's a completely different story than Mary Jane, they could not be more different," Stone says of her plum role in The Amazing Spider-Man, the movie that reboots the franchise with British actor Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spidey and Stone as the new leading lady.
"There's this whole tragic element [with the romantic relationship] that wasn't there before," the 23-year-old says during an L.A. interview. "You've got the Upper East Side police chief father [Denis Leary] who sees Spider-Man as a vigilante and vows to take him down. It lends this total Romeo and Juliet-esque quality to Gwen and Peter's relationship."
Add to that the fact that Garfield and Stone really did fall in love on set, and have been a couple ever since, and you have the potential for some serious on-screen chemistry.
When Andrew Garfield was auditioning to play the web-slinging superhero in the new Spider-Man movie, his parents dug through their photo albums back home in London, looking for one particular picture they thought might help their son's cause. It shows Garfield as a boy, dressed as Spider-Man on Halloween, posing with his older brother, who's wearing a Superman costume. "I gave it to my agent and my agent slipped it to the studio as they were making their decision," Garfield says, laughing, during a lengthy, rainy-day interview in a Hollywood hotel. "I'm sure that photo will come out at some point." He pauses, pretending to wince at the prospect. "Dammit."
Truth be told, Garfield doesn't mind if any aspect of his geeky past comes to light. The 28-year-old British actor fulfilled a childhood dream when he won the lead in The Amazing Spider-Man, a reboot of the comic book franchise that focuses on Peter Parker's adolescent shock as he discovers his developing superhero abilities.
Before making Take This Waltz, actor Luke Kirby spent time researching his role with an artist named Balint Zsako.
It's not that he plays Zsako in the film. Kirby — who grew up in Guelph, Ontario, but now lives in Brooklyn, New York — plays Daniel, a rickshaw driver who woos his married neighbour Margot (Michelle Williams) in director Sarah Polley's first film behind the camera since Away From Her.
But, while Daniel drives a rickshaw by day, he's an artist by night, and the many drawings and paintings that fill his apartment were actually created by Hamilton-born Zsako, who now also lives in Brooklyn.
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